What you know-
Chris Bangle, 52, the action man behind modern-day BMWs has quit the German company and the auto industry once in for all. CB worked with BMW for the past 17 years, overseeing the design department which rolled out immensely popular cars like the X5, X3 and the 1-series. His position will be taken over by Adrian Von Hooydonk, who worked closely with Bangle for all these years.
But why does everyone overlook these cars and term CB as an incompetent designer? Fine, he redesigned the 7-Series in 2002, which turned out to be a big disappointment for all BMW fans, but why think of only that?
What you don't know-
CB's tenure at BMW came to an abrupt end after the occurance of an unrest over the ideas of Project i, BMW's future brand which will sell micro cars that are fuel efficient and eco friendly. It seems there was a conflict of ideas between CB, Adrian Von Hooydonk (right-hand of CB and the man behind the latest 7-Series and the CS Concept), BMW’s Chief of Research & Development, Dr. Draeger, and CEO, Reithofer.
CEO Reithofer is the person who is directly in charge of the Project i, and after a decision on how to go about the project was frozen, CB didn't feel it would work and felt taking responsibility and carry out someone else' ideas that were against his was not being true to himself.
Also the staff in CB's team unfortunately didn't support his ideas, which made him feel weak and disappointed, leading to his decision to call it quits. CB, as reports claim, will be related to BMW in some way. He might be designing interiors, but it is too early to predict anything.
IAB's message to Chris Bangle-
Dear Chris Bangle,
We Indians love BMWs, and even today's generation considers it as a status symbol than a compilation of steel, plastic and rubber. Part of that is because of you, your designs are simply amazing. Your flame surfacing keeps my eyes glued on the BMW 3 Series, which I see everyday while traveling to college. Your ideas and concepts cannot be appreciated by everyone, just like how everyone doesn't like Coca Cola.
Chris Bangle, even if god descends from the heavenly abode and models a car, there will still be individuals who will state it is rubbish, claim the designs are obsolete and atheists will title it an illusion as no god or no heaven is their ideology. As one of my relatives put it- You can't keep all the people happy all the time.
To us, it's a shame that you won't be designing any more BMW's. The Bangle era, some suppose, is over- But you are not dead. You are still, to most of us, the biggest and the most talented automotive designer the earth has witnessed and your designs continue to touch millions.
Chris Bangle, please do not stop designing cars. I'm sure there are so many brands out there waiting for you to part ways with BMW so that they can rope you in. I think you must either join one of them, or start out your own automobile company where your ideas stand final.
You know what? You Rock!
Indian Autos Blog Team
Our hearty thanks to Horatiu at BMW Blog for the information